Brooke, John Mercer

Brooke, John Mercer

(1826–1906) naval officer, inventor; born in Tampa Bay, Fla. He served in the U.S. Navy (1841–61) and invented the deep-sea sounding apparatus (1851–53). He joined the Confederate States Navy in 1861 and was largely responsible for the fitting-out of the CSS ironclad Virginia. He was chief of the Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography (1863–65) where he invented the "Brooke" cast-iron rifle.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.